By Lorna Seilstad
Published by Revell
381 Pages

Back Cover: The only man pragmatic Lilly Hart needs in her life is a six year old. Widowed two years ago, Lilly leaves the shelter of her intrusive in-laws' home to stand on her own and provide for her young son by working for the summer as a cook at Lake Manawa. However, her in-laws find that life utterly unsuitable for their grandson, and when a row ensues, a handsome stranger--who designs roller coasters, of all things--intercedes on her behalf. Still, Lilly is not about to get involved with any man, especially this cocky (though charismatic) gentleman. Little does she know she is about to begin the ride of her life.

Filled with delightful characters and the romance of summer, The Ride of Her Life is another supremely entertaining story from the witty Lorna Seilstad. Readers will laugh out loud and sigh contentedly as they spend the summer of 1906 in Lake Manawa.

Review: Love the book covers of Lorna Seilstad’s books. The covers scream Fun! I was thrilled to receive a review copy of The Ride of Her Life and take a journey with this author through history that’s enjoyable and faith based. I adored it! I love how this author blends history, romance and faith into an entertaining story along endearing characters I instantly cared about, and her sense of well timed humor makes a great combination that will bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart.

I felt for Mrs. Lilly Hart and her delightful 10 year old son Levi right from the beginning. It’s been three years since Lilly lost her husband and Levi his dad and Lilly had to take a stand against her in-laws who wanted to send her son away to boarding school to have a proper up-bringing. Lilly moves out of her in-laws house to embark on a new journey to keep her son by her side and work hard as a cook at a restaurant. Levi is all boy filled with wonder and surprise at the world and critters around him. He says to his mom, “Look Mama.”
“What had Levi dragged in now…Lilly thought?”
“Isn’t she pretty?”… You wanna pet her?”

Lilly doesn’t over react at the monstrous, writhing snake Levi just stuck very close to her nose. She simply tells her son snakes have to live outside and can’t dine in the restaurant. Nick who eats at the dinner along with his crew says he’ll help Levi make a cage for his new friend to live in. Levi is thrilled, Lilly is grateful and Nick loves Lilly’s cooking! It’s a win, win for all.

In the process of helping Levi, Nick and Lilly get to know each other and try to fight the feelings that are developing between them. Nick is on a deadline to finish a roller coaster in time for the grand opening of the new theme park in town. Strange things have been happening to delay his progress. He’ll get to the bottom of that and do what it takes to be done on time.

Spiritual themes of faith, fear and trust run throughout the story and deal with a couple of characters. Lilly prays quietly to herself one day after God reveals something to her heart, “Lord, I see what I’ve been doing. When the storms came, I had the same choice the Apostles had….I could’ve responded with fear or faith. And I chose fear. I stopped trusting you and started trusting only myself! Please Lord, Please forgive me.”

I don’t know about you but I’ve prayed that prayer too! I love how this author naturally weaves in the spiritual thread and doesn’t make this story preachy.

Levi will steal your heart and the budding romance between Lilly and Nick takes so many twists and turns it will keep you guessing with it’s ups and downs just like the roller coaster ride Nick is building.

Thanks to Lorna’s author notes and Nick’s construction of his roller coaster in this story I learned so much. I enjoyed reading about the development of Amusement parks and all that goes into making that and a roller coaster. I highly recommend this novel (and Lorna’s other books) for a great summer read and your next book club pick.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network


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